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Friday Financial Five – July 27th, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

If you refinanced your mortgage within the last year, never hurts to look at refinancing again . . .

The Great Tax Debate

The battle of tax policy continues, with personal income tax rates, dividends, capital gains, and estate tax provisions all on the table until the end of the year. The Senate passed a bill this week that would extend 2012’s tax policy for another year for all but the top 1 to 2% of earners, but don’t expect this to be resolved until the end of the year. Interestingly, the Senate bill didn’t even address the estate tax per-person exemption, which will drop all the way back down to $1 million in 2013 if no action is taken.

JetBlue in Rhode Island

The in flight entertainment alone makes JetBlue a welcome addition to T.F. Green. Passengers have to be forced off the plane because they want to finish watching their show. Newer planes and comfortable seating also make the airline a winning option, but it won’t return to the days of being a discount fare unless fuel costs come under control.

CBO reviews Affordable Care Act ruling

The first few studies have come out regarding the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling. The Congressional Budget Office is predicting 3 million fewer low-income Americans will have insurance due to the voiding of the requirement that states expand Medicaid coverage. The CBO is basically guessing which states will participate in the expansion, so this is a really rough estimate.

Switching banks

It’s amazing how hard it is for some people to overcome loyalty (or lethargy) to switch banks. Analyze monthly fees, internet banking options and interest rates to determine if there’s a better option available for a customer of your type. Once you decide to switch, make a list of automatic payments into and out of the current account. Then keep both accounts open 3 to 6 months while you make the transition.

Insurance checklist when children head to college this fall

If the student is going to live off campus, check to see if there is coverage under your homeowner’s policy. If not, a renter’s policy might be in order. If the school is over 100 miles away and the car is staying at home, alert your auto insurance company for some possible savings.

Dan Forbes is a regular contributor on business financial issues. His office is in Providence, RI. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning and can be reached at dforbes@forbesplanning.com

 

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